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IFA 2016: Sony launches two new Xperia smartphones as competition hots up

Sony today signalled a return of the Z branding for Xperia, sort of, following the launch of the new Xperia XZ, plus a compact version of the Xperia X.

Each camera comes with the very latest camera technology, with a range of autofocus options and motion tracking to hopefully get a perfect focus photo whatever the scene, including low-light.

The XZ with 5.2-inch Full-HD display goes on sale in October, while the X Compact with a 4.6-inch HD display, hits the streets later this month.

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Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ

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Xperia X Compact

Xperia X Compact

The three image sensing technologies include fast autofocus with object tracking, distance sensing with a laser AF sensor, and colour sensing (via a RGBC-IR sensor) that means the camera will see things exactly as you do, whatever the lighting conditions.

Xperia X Motion Tracking

Xperia X Object Tracking

Video recording is improved thanks to a five-axis image stabiliser, even in zoom mode.

Meanwhile Qnovo charging technology promises to extend the life of your battery through intelligent charging, as against rapid (and according to Sony, potentially damaging) fast charging.

Hotting up

I’ve been a Sony fan for many years, but the Z3 was a turning point for me – after missing many photo opportunities due to overheating. Sadly, in one of the demo rooms to show off the laser autofocus system, an Xperia XZ was displaying a warning that it was too hot.

Obviously the phone isn’t yet fully finished and ready for retail, but does this mean that after the Z3, Z3+, Z5 and X the thermal issues still haven’t been sorted? And if the issues remain, who is to blame here? Sony or Qualcomm?

Hopefully when the final models ship I’ll be able to test the camera out and see how it fares, and fingers crossed all the problems will be fixed.

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